Bek believes mental strength is about being clear with ourselves - and about ourselves. It invollves understanding our identity and our character, being aware of our own internal processes, and expressing them authentically to others.
While mental strength is about knowing and expressing ourselves, mental flexibility is different.
“It's about being able to pivot your views and being able to reshape the way that you interact with the world,” Bek says.
Flexibility calls for individuals to be more creative in our thought processes, Bek explains. This could be by engaging in artistic pursuits or problem solving. It can also be about reframing a thought you're having if it’s no longer serving you well.
Compassion is a big part of flexibility, as is intuition.
“Intuition for many people is seen as a soft, fluffy notion. Whereas for me, the understanding around intuition we're starting to build through the scientific models of neuroscience comes from understanding that it's actually information your subconscious mind is giving you,” says Bek.
“Intuition is about listening to the signals your body is giving you because it's starting to receive information from the subconscious brain as well.”
To keep the mind strong and flexible, we also need endurance. Our core values and knowing what’s important to us play a role.
Bek believes in the importance of understanding our values: “It helps with our endurance, because if you know what your inherent motivators are and what's really driving you, that can help you make it through really challenging times.”
Another component of mental endurance is permitting yourself to have time to rest and relax, even if it's just in small micro doses throughout the day.
Bek says “before you step into a meeting, think about taking 30 seconds to regroup, take a breath, and give yourself a little bit of space to breathe and then go in.”
Mental endurance is also about cultivating hope, optimism and positivity. It can help to underpin those other components around strength and flexibility.